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01 December 2011

Africa needs $600bn for climate change

The African Group at COP17 in Durban says it needs US500 billion to US600 billion to finance its emissions reduction efforts and adaptation to climate change.

Group spokesman Seyni Nafo told a briefing that African ministers had agreed to ask developed countries for an amount equivalent to 1.5 percent of developing countries' GNP.

"We did a calculation; we need about US500 billion to US600 billion," he said.

This is five to six times more than the US100 billion by 2020 agreed to at COP16 in Cancun, Mexico, for the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The fund -- which observers believe will be formally established at the Durban summit -- is aimed at helping poor countries finance emission reductions and adaptation.

Nafo described the GCF's US100 billion as a "symbolic political number".

It had "nothing to do with science or a rational and objective assessment".

He earlier told journalists that Africa had contributed the least to climate change, but was paying the highest price for its severe impact.

The African Group comprises 54 states, including South Africa.

Objections to the US100 billion for the GCF were raised earlier this week by Canada and the United States, with both countries citing concerns about how the money would be raised.

- Times Live